Leeds teenager can keep £5.5 million payout

Nathan Popple pictured with parents Beryl Sanderson (right) and Sarah Carmody.
Nathan Popple pictured with parents Beryl Sanderson (right) and Sarah Carmody.
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A Leeds family is celebrating after winning a battle to keep compensation for a severely disabled teenager.

Nathan Popple feared he would lose the £5.5m compensation he was awarded by a High Court judge last year after NHS lawyers tried to strip him of his payout.

Today the teenager is celebrating after Appeal Court judges ruled that negligence had played a part in causing catastrophic injuries after he was starved of oxygen minutes before his birth.

Nathan, who lives with mum Beryl Sanderson and her partner in Cookridge, Leeds, suffered severe oxygen starvation during his traumatic birth at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

The 15-year-old developed cerebral palsy and severe disabilities.

The teenager, who is unable to speak, has to be fed through a tube because he cannot swallow.

His family claim they have spent the last decade fighting for compensation to pay for the teenager’s care.

Nathan, who uses a special computer to communicate, told the YEP: “It’s nice that it has finished.

“I want to do loads in my life. It’s a big relief.”

Mum Beryl Sanderson and her civil partner, Sarah Carmody, said they were still shocked at the decision.

Beryl said: “I’m relieved and happy for Nathan as it has been a long fight but worth it.

“We now know that Nathan will have the support and accommodation he needs for the rest of his life.”

The pair also thanked well-wishers for their messages of support and their legal team at Irwin Mitchell.

Lawyers for Birmingham Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust attacked the judge’s ruling at the Court of Appeal, insisting that the damage to Nathan’s brain occurred “some time remote from delivery” in the last three days of his mother’s labour

But Lord Justice Ward, sitting with Lords Justice Longmore and Richards, dismissed the trust’s appeal in a ruling issued yesterday.

Lord Justice Ward said he had “agonised” over the case but, after detailed consideration of the evidence, was “totally satisfied” Nathan’s payout was merited.

A high court judge ruled last year that Nathan’s life had been wrecked by a “combination of failures” by midwifery staff at the hospital to adequately monitor his mother’s labour in 1997.

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